Brian Laidlaw is an author, songwriter and educator based in Moab, Utah. He earned an undergrad degree in Creative Writing from Stanford University, where he first began setting his poems to music; after graduating, he spent several years as a touring folksinger. He went on to earn an M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of Minnesota, and then to join the Songwriting faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN.
Ph.D in English and Literary Arts from the University of Denver; MFA in Poetry from the University of Minnesota
In recent years, Brian’s work has appeared widely in magazines including New American Writing, The Iowa Review, Handsome, jubilat, Field, Quarter After Eight, Agni and many others. He also had poems in The Arcadia Project anthology (Ahsahta Press), lyrics in American Songwriter Magazine, and credits as a Songwriting Consultant on multiple Grammy-Award-winning and Grammy-nominated albums, most recently Winterland by The Okee Dokee Brothers.
Brian’s releases include the vinyl-LP-plus-poetry-chapbook AMORATORIUM (Paper Darts Press), the book/album THE STUNTMAN (Milkweed Editions), the 7” vinyl single JEREMIAD (Hymie’s Vintage Records), and the followup full-length poetry collection THE MIRRORMAKER (Milkweed Editions). A new LP and translation folio called THIS ASTER: Adaptations of Emile Nelligan is also out this year from Fonograf Editions.
Brian recently completed a Ph.D. in English and Literary Arts at the University of Denver, where his work focused on the relationship between poem-forms, song-forms and landforms. His outdoor/adventure essays have appeared in Outside, Orion, Climbing and Alpinist. He now teaches at University College in the Masters’ in Professional Creative Writing program, and mentors neurodivergent poets and songwriters with Unrestricted Interest, a company he co-founded with poet Chris Martin. Brian continues to tour both solo and with his band The Family Trade.